Stem Cell Research And Type 1 Diabetes

Stem Cell Research and Type 1 Diabetes

Stem Cell Research and Type 1 Diabetes

A recently published study in the journal Nature Biotechnology gives encouragement to those who are awaiting stem cell transplants as a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Scientists have found a faster way to grow stem cells into insulin-producing cells. What previously took four months to grow to maturity now takes only six weeks. This raises hope that stem cell therapy can someday be a practical treatment for diabetes, with a nearly unlimited supply of insulin-producing cells available.
Stem Cells
There are currently some 4,500 different clinical trials underway in the United States, in an effort to prove the efficacy of stem cell transplants in treatment of a variety of diseases, including diabetes. Initial findings appear to show stem cell transplantation as a safe therapy. What remains to be proved is whether it is an effective therapy.
Stem cells are immature cells that have the ability to develop into 200 different types of cells that appear in many different parts of the body. They are sourced from umbilical cord blood or bone marrow. The theory behind using stem cells as regenerative treatments in the body holds that these cells, when implanted or allowed to migrate to areas of injury transform themselves into new tissue to replace damaged tissue.
Stem cells can mature and multiply in infinite numbers. Most research prepares the cells outside of the body, where they are kept and nourished under artificial conditions, and guided to maturity as the cells required for specific treatments. These cells can then be introduced into the body and take up residence where the Continue reading

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Six Tips For Diabetes Caregivers

Six Tips For Diabetes Caregivers

With 29 million diabetics in America, countless more individuals find themselves acting as caregiver for their friend or family member. These tips can make that transition easier.
Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes in many ways. As its alternate name of adult-onset diabetes implies, it is usually only found in adults. However, the rate of children acquiring the disease is going up.
Type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes due to the fact that, unlike type 1, insulin injections are not always required for treatment.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either doesn't produce any insulin, or the insulin that is produced is not properly utilized. This is due to a condition known as insulin resistance, which prevents key parts of the body (such as muscle, fat and the liver) from responding to insulin as they should.
Insulin resistance means that sugar never makes it into the cells where it can be used for the body's energy needs. Instead, massive levels of it build within the bloodstream.
Type 2 diabetes has a gradual onset
Type 2 diabetes also differs from its younger counterpart in that onset can be very slow, lasting for years. The gradual progression is typically not noticed by the individual until the condition becomes full-blown. Being overweight helps the disease to develop faster.
Genetics can also play a part in the likelihood of diagnosis. If a parent is diabetic, the chances of a child also becoming diabetic increases as much as threefold. People who smoke and drink large amounts of alcohol are also putting themselves at increased ri Continue reading

Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Lower Diabetes Risk

Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Lower Diabetes Risk

A device used to treat sleep apnea may help people with pre-diabetes reduce their blood sugar levels and prevent full-blown diabetes in the long run, according to a new study.
Patients who used a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device for eight hours during sleep were less likely to develop diabetes than individuals taking an oral placebo, the research found. CPAPs blow a continuous stream of air into the lungs via a tube and face mask and are commonly used to treat sleep apnea.
According to the study, people with prediabetes often have sleep apnea but aren't aware of it.
"Although eight hours of CPAP per night can be difficult to achieve in real-life, our results should provide a strong incentive for anyone with sleep apnea, especially prediabetic individuals, to improve adherence to their treatment for cardio-metabolic risk reduction," said lead study author, Sushmita Pamidi, MD., from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Treatment outcomes
After two weeks, participants who used the CPAP device had improved blood sugar control, better insulin sensitivity, 27 percent lower levels of stress hormone norepinephrine and lower blood pressure than the individuals taking a placebo.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, sleep apnea can have a direct effect on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, and is also associated with cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and hypertension.
Dr. Esra Tasali, senior author of the study, asserts that more patients with symptoms of pre-diabetes should be screened for potential sleep problems.
" Continue reading

Protecting Your Kidneys from Complications of Diabetes

Protecting Your Kidneys from Complications of Diabetes

Blood and waste products enter our kidneys to travel through millions of capillaries, or tiny blood vessels, which contain filters called glomeruli.
Things our body needs, such as red blood cells and proteins, are too big to fit through the glomeruli, but waste products pass through these filters and end up in our urine. Then, our detoxed blood continues its rounds.
This unglamorous but essential function of the kidneys can be damaged by having uncontrolled blood sugar. Although everyone needs to protect his or her kidneys with healthy habits, people with diabetes need to take extra precautions.
The Two Best Ways to Protect Your Kidneys
Blood glucose management: Tight blood glucose control is important for kidney health. Do what you already know to do: monitor your blood glucose regularly, take your medication or insulin as prescribed, make wise food choices, avoid high-protein diets, exercise regularly, and keep in contact with your diabetes care team. Having an A1C test two to four times per year will give you and your doctor a good overview of how well your treatment plan is controlling your blood sugar.
Blood pressure management: Keep your blood pressure as normal as possible. To protect the kidneys blood pressure should remain below 130/80, but your doctor can tell you what pressure range is ideal for you. A healthy diet and consistent exercise are the best blood pressure normalizers. If prescribed blood pressure medication be sure to take it regularly.
Five More Ways to Protect Your Kidneys
Get regular kidney screenings. Annual screenings for kidney problems are wise Continue reading

The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

High blood sugar is the hallmark indicator of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and in both forms of diabetes the hormone insulin is a focus of attention.
Insulin, manufactured in the pancreas, is responsible for shuttling blood sugar, or glucose, into our cells for fuel. If insulin is low, absent, or not utilized properly by the body, the fuel we need to function accumulates in our blood stream, causing problems.
Those with type 1 diabetes have very little or no insulin in their system because their pancreas manufactures little or none of it. People with type 2 diabetes produce some, but not enough insulin, or their body may not respond to insulin’s effects.
Type 1 Diabetes
The onset of type 1 diabetes is typically sudden and the diagnosis clear-cut. Individuals go to their doctor or an emergency room complaining of intense thirst, hunger, increase in urination, blurry vision, weight loss (even if they are eating more), a higher incidence of infections, and pain or tingling in their extremities; hospitalization is sometimes necessary.
Formerly, type 1 diabetes was called “juvenile diabetes” since nearly three-fourths of diagnoses occur before the age of 30, or was called “insulin-dependent diabetes,” because taking insulin daily is necessary for survival and well-being. Five to ten percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have this type.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes, many of them young children, must check their blood sugar level several times each day and administer insulin by injection or with an insulin pump. Barring a cure or treatment innovations, they will d Continue reading

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